4506. Cumberland Basin

It is not only the quantity of graffiti and street art that is being painted in Bristol at the moment, but the outstanding quality of some of it that is quite mind-boggling, and you know that when Smak, Sled One and Ments get together that you are going to be in for a treat.

Smak, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, May 2022
Smak, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, May 2022

On the left of this triptych Smak has absolutely smashed out his letters with extraordinary class and style in what I can only describe as a very Smacky way, which I hope makes sense. Although quite well disguised, once you get your eye in you can clearly see the letters SMAK. Great colours and a confident piece.

Sled One, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, May 2022
Sled One, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, May 2022

A surreal and utterly bonkers elephant character by Sled One is in the middle section of this collaborative wall. Alongside 3Dom, Sled One is the leading character artist in Bristol and his weird creations are always something to look forward to. It is his details and textures, tones and depth that makes his work completely stand out from the crowd.

Ments, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, May 2022
Ments, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, May 2022

To the right is a fabulously etherial piece from Ments, who seems to reinvent his style on an annual basis while always maintaining an organic and rather abstract nature with his letters. This piece feels almost more like a canvas study than a piece of graffiti writing. Superb skills all round, this is a wonderful collaborative wall.

4492. The Carriageworks (44)

I believe that these arches at The Carriageworks are on borrowed time, as the developers of the site have plans to build retail outlets as part of the overall redevelopment of the site, so let’s make hay while the sun shines. Two of Bristol’s most recognised street artists, Sled One and 3Dom, have paired up to give these two arches a bit of a makeover.

Sled One, The Carriageworks, Bristol, May 2022
Sled One, The Carriageworks, Bristol, May 2022

On the left is yet another spellbinding piece from Sled One, featuring a skull-like character in a red hat next to a pond with a rather arrogant-looking duck swimming about. Sled One has created this surreal scene with such extraordinary detail and clarity. For me there is something of a retro feel about the piece, perhaps it is the colours or the overall way the elements in the water and foliage around the pond are presented, but it looks like it could be a poster from the 1950s with a surreal 2020s twist.

3Dom, The Carriageworks, Bristol, May 2022
3Dom, The Carriageworks, Bristol, May 2022

On the right hand arch 3Dom has painted an incredible dreamy piece where the main character, unlike anything we know or understand, is curled around the shape of the archway space. There is something most endearing about this smiley faced, reptile-humanoid creature, but look a little closer and there is something a little intriguing too. A love arrow runs through the character, although I’m not entirely sure what it signifies. I get a feeling that much of 3Dom’s work is about cherishing our beautiful Earth and a warning about its decline and losses in the natural world, he tells these stories through his ‘otherworldly’ characters almost as if warning us about the perils ahead. Of course they might simply be beautiful images without any hidden meaning, but I doubt it.

4389. Sparke Evans Park (39)

Like all of us, street/graffiti artists have birthdays, but sometimes they mark them in a way that isn’t possible for mere mortals like me. They have a paint jam and invite artist friends to paint a wall together – the results are nearly always outstanding, bringing different styles into a single place for a day. A recent birthday paint jam was held for Mena in Sparke Evans park and this was Sled One’s contribution.

Sled One, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, April 2022
Sled One, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, April 2022

I don’t know if it is just me, but Sled One’s pieces seem to be getting even more surreal and obscure, if that is at all possible. This outstandingly turned out piece features a skull smoking an outsize cigarette, with smiley tablets for eyes and purple hair. As always with Sled One’s work, it is the little details that augment the piece so well, such as the gorgeous flower in the hair, or the floating eyebrows. This is another masterpiece from Sled One.

4303. Greenbank (28)

The blue and yellow colours used in this piece give it away as another reference to the war in Ukraine. There is so much to like about this scene, by Sled One, painted alongside Smak, and it is typically full of fine detail and great composition, let alone the outstanding execution.

Sled One, Greenbank, Bristol, March 2022
Sled One, Greenbank, Bristol, March 2022

I have noticed that Sled One does enjoy painting cheese, and he has excelled himself with this cheese character, full of holes and a couple of cheeky mice. His work is always fantastical, combining characters with abstract shapes sprinkled with surrealism and always with outstanding results. I like that this piece references Ukraine, without being in your face, it demonstrates that there are so many ways to support the Ukrainians.

4204. Sparke Evans Park (27)

Some pieces simply ooze class, and this outstanding surreal artwork by Sled One is one of them. In my view, this is Sled One at his best, creating a fantastical and unusual scene using only spray paints and a brick wall canvass. Simply amazing.

Sled One, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, January 2022
Sled One, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, January 2022

The central part of a three piece collaboration (the rest to follow) features a baseball, but not any old baseball, no, this one has a mullet haircut, a bird beak, a mouse in his cap, a rather nasty looking baseball club, a spotty pair of boxer shorts all capped off with some comfortable slippers. Would anyone mind explaining to me what on earth is going on here? I don’t actually care too much, I just know that I love this piece a lot. Bravo!

4186. Cumberland Basin

It is not often that I am in the right place at the right time, but I got lucky with one of my lunchtime walks with the dog when I bumped into Ments and Sled One painting this collaboration. Actually I made my own luck a bit, because I spotted them painting from the other side of the river and gave myself enough time to swing by and have a chat.

Ments and Sled One, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, December 2021
Ments and Sled One, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, December 2021

Sled One reminded me, not for the first time, that it was he and Ments who first started painting this wall, before it became one of the more popular Bristol spots. I think it is good for artists and photographers/viewers alike due to the open space and length of wall, although with long shadows and reflections photography can at times be a bit of a challenge.

Ments, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, January 2021
Ments, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, January 2021

On the left of this beautifully prepped wall is Ments’ contribution, with a rather jazzy rendition of the ASK crew letters. Wall prep can definitely enhance a piece, and with this collaboration, the reddy-magenta works a real treat. There are definitely some strong Ments elements in the piece, but I am not certain I would have known it was by him if I hadn’t seen him painting it.

Sled One, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, January 2021
Sled One, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, January 2021

To the right is an interesting piece by Sled One, because it says 3Dom. It is most vexing, deceitful and confusing when artists write other artist’s names as a kind of shout-out to their mates, and makes misidentification a strong possibility. Again it was lucky I saw them painting this or I might have had egg on my face. This is a stylish collaboration from two very classy Bristol artists.

4125. Upfest 2021 75×75 (73)

I had kind of given up on the final three Upfest 75 walls in 75 days pieces, especially as the 75 days was up some time ago, but hope and excitement were restored when Sled One painted this beautiful piece for the event a couple of weeks ago.

Sled One, North Street, Bristol, December 2021, Upfest 21,
Sled One, North Street, Bristol, December 2021, Upfest 21,

Above the General Store in North Street, the intricate mural features a snakes and ladders theme, with a medieval twist hinted at by the hand-held daggers and ornate sleeves. I did not notice the Advance Pest Control van in the photograph until posting this piece, but I think it adds a little something to the scene.

As we would expect from Sled One, the mural is executed with class and precision and is a fine contribution to Upfest’s summer event. So now there are only two pieces left for me to find. One, I know where it is, the other is a mystery.

3989. Greenbank (16)

Well, would you believe it? Yet another superb and crazy piece from Sled One. I have to say, I just don’t know where he gets his energetic creativity from, but it doesn’t really matter, just so long as he keeps turning out magnificent story pieces like this one.

Sled One, Greenbank, Bristol, September 2021
Sled One, Greenbank, Bristol, September 2021

Slapped up somewhere along the very long Greenbank hoarding is this monkey/orangutan/banana mash up that oozes class. There are several things that give this away as a Sled One piece, such as; the zigzag hatched eyebrows; elements of the piece that just hang, like the cigarette and the shading under the eyes; and the amazing use of colour and textures throughout the piece. This is outstanding work from an enormously talented artist.

3750. M32 Spot (116)

Ooh! a mouthwatering, commentary collaboration piece by 3Dom and Sled One taking up a large stretch of the Skate Spot wall at the top end of Stapleton Road. This spot is often taken up by ‘top end’ art work and is favoured by the ASK crew, and when you see something like this it is easy to see why.

Sled One, M32 Spot, Bristol, May 2021
Sled One, M32 Spot, Bristol, May 2021

The first time I passed by, Sled One was still painting his half of the collaborative wall while 3Dom had departed and was due to return later or the following day to tidy up. We stopped and chatted for a while before he continued with the piece. His work is extraordinary and his talent is there for all to see.

Sled One, M32 Spot, Bristol, May 2021
Sled One, M32 Spot, Bristol, May 2021

The two halves of the collaboration represent a stark contrast between the choices we have as citizens of planet earth. We can work with the planet which is reflected in Sled One’s contribution or we can destroy it through the pursuit of material wealth and greed. It is interesting how the choice of colours can set a tone or a mood and Sled One’s ‘mother earth’ character is full of positivity and hope. The only out is in.

3Dom, M32 Spot, Bristol, May 2021
3Dom, M32 Spot, Bristol, May 2021

3Dom got the short straw and his half of the piece is a portrayal of capitalism and greed where the earth is to be divided up like a cake for profit. The cigar-puffing pig is brilliantly painted and instantly creates a sense of disgust and loathing. Dark satanic mills be here.

3Dom and Sled One, M32 Spot, Bristol, May 2021
3Dom and Sled One, M32 Spot, Bristol, May 2021

What an outstanding collaboration of contrasts from two of Bristol’s top street artists.

3638. M32 roundabout J3 (311)

One of the things that I really like about Sled One’s work is that everything seems so effortless, and as a result, his pieces are immersive and compelling in a way that other pieces might be static and boring. As usual, even his writing seems to have a story to tell.

Sled One, M32 roundabout, Bristol, April 2021
Sled One, M32 roundabout, Bristol, April 2021

This ASK – After Skool Klub – piece is rather cute and engaging. The letters reveal an eye, a mouth, a daisy-chain garland and a hand with a peace gesture and the whole thing is a little bit ‘peace and love, man’ but so incredibly easy on the eye. This artist is the best at turning the inanimate into imaginable living things. Gotta love this one.